The first step in pre-construction is to define the scope of the project. What is it that you are trying to accomplish and what are the space, schedule, and level of finishes requirements needed to meet your objectives for a successful project?
Once you have established preliminary project goals and objectives, the team needs to understand what your project budget is. The design team and construction team work together to provide you with design and cost information, including alternative solutions and costs, to firm up your budget.
With a clear project scope and budget, the team can proceed with design plans for the size, layout, style/character, quality, building materials and systems, and other essential project details. Once design is finalized, a plan can be created for executing each phase of construction and a schedule assembled for the overall project.
The construction company’s role in pre-construction becomes even more visible as the project moves toward the latter stages of design. To properly prepare bid packages for the various parts of the work, your construction partner will identify potential subcontractors who have the capabilities and capacity needed to complete work on the project, and engage with them to confirm their interest and availability.
When it comes time to bid out the work, there is a ready pool of subcontractors who understand the project, know what to expect from the general contractor, construction manager, or design-build contractor, and have reserved time in their schedule to properly bid the project.
Properly planning for long lead-time materials can make or break a project schedule. During pre-construction, the contractor needs to identify all the necessary materials and equipment for the job, with special attention to items requiring early ordering, and how they will be obtained. The procurement schedule will be worked into the overall construction schedule to maximize efficiency and ensure proper delivery, phasing and staging of all materials.
Project Permits and Inspections
Pre-construction is the time to thoroughly assess and plan to mitigate risks associated with constructing the project, including evaluation of the construction site, permit and inspection requirements, and any other special situations that need to be resolved before or during construction. Your construction partner should have a detailed checklist for the pre-construction phase; it is essential to make sure all the boxes are checked before the project breaks ground.
The pre-construction phase lays the foundation for a successful construction project and relies heavily on effective communication. Take the time to prepare a communication plan that works for everyone, allowing everyone to interact in a way that meets their needs for the project. A construction team that communicates well can help ensure that when obstacles arise, they can be overcome effectively and efficiently.